Reigniting Growth in 2022

At Growth Energy's 13th Annual Executive Leadership Conference, hundreds of industry stakeholders networked with producers that not only survived the pandemic, but continue to press forward with the investments needed to fuel a low-carbon future.
By Emily Skor | February 16, 2022

Spring approaching, we have fresh opportunities to reimagine the future of the biofuels industry and redefine its role in achieving our climate goals. And that’s exactly what we’re doing. In February, Growth Energy hosted its 13th Annual Executive Leadership Conference (ELC), where we were joined by more than 300 industry stakeholders, allies and member companies from across 31 states. With another wave of teleconferences following our in-person ELC last year, it was exciting to see so many industry leaders gathering together to forge a new path and tackle the challenges ahead.

Among other topics, attendees discussed the importance of using every tool in America’s toolkit—especially biofuels—to reduce carbon emissions and accelerate our transition to a net-zero future. With a new administration that deploys carbon as a measuring stick in every policy decision, we’re in a unique position to reengage with policymakers to show them that the investments we’re making in biofuels have the potential to reshape our industry, economy and transportation sector—and our planet.

The ELC also showcased the remarkable diversity of our industry, with panel discussions featuring America’s top issue experts on topics like such as tactics for lowering carbon intensity scores, examining the value proposition of sustainable aviation fuels, and financing a low carbon future. From corn growers expanding sustainable agriculture to biorefineries that have invested in carbon capture, Growth Energy is taking every opportunity to tap into that expertise and demonstrate our unmatched ability to deliver on a new wave of clean energy demand—on the ground and in the sky, at home and abroad, and in today’s vehicles and tomorrow’s.

Together, we’re channeling that innovative spirit to advance our industry’s top priorities: restoring certainty to the renewable fuel standard (RFS), championing biofuels as a low-cost pathway to achieve our climate goals, and opening new markets to compete in the global, low-carbon transition.

Near-term, that means fixing and finalizing the recently released Renewable Volume Obligations (RVOs). The proposal for 2022 was forward-leaning, but we cannot allow the Environmental Protection Agency to take its foot off the gas—it needs to set 2021 volumes at the statutory levels, reject retroactive cuts to the 2020 RVO, and deny all pending SREs. 

Mid-term, we know that an EPA “Set” for 2023 and beyond is on the horizon. It’s critical that regulators embrace strong blending obligations that offer certainty to the farmers and producers working to deliver clean, homegrown energy to American drivers.

We’re also focused on ensuring that—from infrastructure to trade—policymakers recognize biofuels as a climate solution—one that is low-carbon, available today, and affordable for all motorists. Research commissioned by Growth Energy shows that a nationwide transition to a higher biofuel blend like E15—compatible with 96% of cars on the road today—would save more than $12 billion in consumer fuel costs annually—all while driving down carbon emissions by over 17 million tons per year, which is the equivalent of removing nearly 4 million vehicles from the road.

Climate experts agree that we can’t reach our climate goals without harnessing the power of biofuels. It’s a message that Growth Energy members are sharing at home and abroad, where we’ve continued to expand markets in Canada and the U.K. In 2022, progress will be made inch by inch. Instead of flashy news conferences, critical trade decisions are being made around a boardroom table without the cameras and fanfare favored by the previous administration. Fortunately, the team at Growth Energy has secured a seat at that table, participating in critical trade discussions and making sure biofuels remain at the forefront of every conversation.

Ultimately, it’s up to us to show global, national and state leaders what we know—biofuels are a critical part of decarbonizing the transportation sector and protecting our climate. Thankfully, as we saw at this year’s ELC, this industry has a great story to tell. Our producers not only survived the pandemic, but continue to press forward with the investments needed to fuel a low-carbon future. And across every one of our priorities, Growth Energy is committed to setting our industry up for success in 2022 by making sure policymakers are prepared to fight for that vision.

Author: Emily Skor
CEO, Growth Energy
[email protected]